Mr_Norris_LKNS's Blog

04 Sep 2020

After Action Report: the "Better Late Than Never" LKNS Auction

Club Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

On Monday, August 31, the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society held its annual Student Members Only Year End Auction for our 2019-2020 school year members.

Normally the auction would have happened in May towards the end of the school year, after the students had earned a school-year's worth of Knights Payment Certificates, or KPC, for their participation, to use for bidding in the auction. However, the pandemic threw a wrench in that when the school closed its doors for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Fortunately I was able to stay in touch with our members and parents through email, Facebook, the school e-newsletter, telephone, and the US Postal Service. Our student members were given a summer extension to complete projects normally due in May, which allowed several to earn LKNS medals as well as additional KPC for the auction. Activities were logged and KPC awarded, and auction items were catalogued so the students could plan their bidding.

Auction attendance was reduced compared to previous years. Normally the auction is the most highly anticipated event of the year, and attendance is 90-100% of membership. For 2019-2020 we had 28 members, our highest ever; however on auction day, student member participation was 50%. Early analysis speculates that several factors may have contributed. We normally don't start LKNS activities until the end of September, so some members may have had other obligations in August. Some members had progressed to 7th grade, and perhaps had mentally and emotionally moved on from what they saw as an elementary activity. Three members were part of the same family group, so they may have had a family obligation (or maybe were in quarantine?). Some had moved to a new school over the summer. And of course, perhaps there were some who weren't crazy about participating in group activities due to the pandemic, in spite of precautions taken. Most of these causes would be directly or indirectly related to the pandemic. But we did all we could to make sure the students had opportunity to reap the benefits of their participation.

Our school operates within the State of Ohio's pandemic guidelines. As an official extracurricular activity of our school, we wanted to do the same. As we have a few local homeschool members joining us who may not be used to our pandemic policies, and to remind our school students also, we posted signs on the entrances to put on masks before entering the auction area and wait for instructions. They proceeded to the sign-in table and were given guidance where to sit. Seats at tables were reduced to allow more spacing and all faced one direction (toward the auctioneer). Students were allowed to file past the auction items table while wearing their masks, to look at the items but not touch them. Once all were seated, three volunteers distributed pre-packaged cookies and small water bottles; then masks were allowed to come off to enjoy the snack.

In past years we would design and print paper currency for KPC. This year we decided to forego that. Studies of COVID spreading through handling currency have been inconclusive, but being such a small circulation group of young people, we thought a precaution couldn't hurt, since sometimes the perception of risk is as concerning as the reality of risk. We opted for "debit cards" instead: a neon colored 3" x 5" card with the member's name on one side, and their KPC tally on the other. Students were allowed to auction a personal numismatic item at the beginning of the auction if they chose; any proceeds would be added to their tally card and deducted from the winning bidder's card. The neon green tally cards also served as great bidding cards: the kids would hold them up when they wanted to bid, and they were easy for me to see.

Masks could stay off during the socially-distanced bidding, but once a winning bid was determined, the winner would put his or her mask on to approach the auction table. A masked volunteer would adjust their KPC total and make a record of what they won while the winner picked up their item and returned to their seat. Another volunteer tracked winning bids for items and told me the minimum bid on the next auction item, which I would immediately start auctioning. We had a really good system going. We got through every item in our donation box, had a drawing for a donated silver round, took some photos of the auction winners, and dismissed. All the students got a gift bag of tokens on their way out.

What a great lot of fun this was for all in attendance. Our newer members are now experienced auction bidders, and everyone was happy to be going home with something they'd won.

The pandemic made it difficult to touch base with some of our supporters as well as our members, but we were able to make it work anyways. Thanks to our school, parents, volunteers, donors, and supporters for making it possible for this to happen. We are looking forward to the 2020-2021 year!



Level 7

Those kids are so lucky to have you. Especially with the environment we live in today. Your dedication to them is shows in everything you do.. They did get through a hard year but only through your hard work. Keep it up as just might find another Erick Newman in the group!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

You are doing a great job developing our next generation of collectors!


Level 6

Thanks for sharing a wonderful event! Sounds like everyone had a great time! ; )


Level 5

Sounds like a great program. I wish my school had a similar interest!


Level 6

Sounds great. It's time to get back to normal. My opinion. I'm glad you were able to work it out. Thankss.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Sounds wonderful and provides a wealth of ideas in the event we are able to hold KidZone auction on 31 October. I kind of doubt it, due to Pennsylvania large group restrictions but future shows???? We may still need to limit touching of scrip, etc.


Level 5

Nice report of the activities. It is great for you to take time for youth anytime, especially during the trying times of covid-19. I personally think it is effecting the young harder than the old. We tend to bond closer and depend more on close groups in our youth than we do when we become older. I personally think the "Rat Race" tends to divide us. Thanks for spending time with the YN.


Level 5

Good you got to have the auction and did everything to be safe about it. Our clubs coin show for September was officially canceled. With the regulations, a coin show just couldn't happen. Intrested in what was auctioned and the sales prices. Anything interesting and bidding wars ?


Level 6

Sounds like a good time. I follow the club on Facebook. Great photos

Sounds excellent! I wish my school had activities. It must have been nice to see those kids after such a long time apart, and hopefully next year is better for everyone. Keep up the great work!

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